Romantic Attitude by John Fitch & Associates
Stoned Out Of It by John Fitch & Associates
Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Since Neil Young has a tendency to road test new compositions before recording them, part of what adds excitement to his performances is that you never know when he might decide to launch into an amazing tune at a concert you've never heard before. On his current Twisted Road theatre tour with Bert Jansch, Young has mostly stuck to the old favourites like Cinnamon Girl, Down By The River, Helpless and Ohio but he's also adding a few thrilling works-in-progress to his sets which could be slated for the forthcoming album he's recording with producer Daniel Lanois but then again, maybe not. Fortunately, someone happened to record and post five of the new songs Peaceful Valley, Love and War, Leia, You Never Call and Sign Of Love which you can temporarily check out below:
Sign Of Love
Love and War
You Never Call
Facing the Marlins in Miami yesterday (Saturday, May 29), former Blue Jays ace Roy "Doc" Halladay pitched a perfect game, striking out 11 in a 1-0 win for the Phillies. On May 9, Oakland's Dallas Braden was also perfect against Tampa Bay so with Halladay's remarkable achievement occurring just 20 days later, it's the first time in the major's modern era that two perfect games have been pitched in the same month.
Although baseball historians will point out that way back in 1880, the first two perfect games were thrown just five days apart when Worchester Ruby Legs lefty Lee Richmond beat the Cleveland Blues 1-0 on June 12 and the Providence Grays' John Montgomery Ward turned the same trick to top the Buffalo Bisons 5-0 on June 17.
Even though the 33 year old Halladay is in tip-top shape and now has some excellent support behind him with the defending NL champs, the fact no pitcher has managed to crack the 30 game milestone since Denny McLain won 31 for the Detroit Tigers back in 1968 makes Halladay's bid seem like a serious longshot. The last time any pitcher in the National League has come close was 1972 when Steve Carlton notched 27 wins for the Phillies.
In any case, the steep odds against Halladay reaching the 30 win milestone this season hasn't stopped Wynn and his Baseball Project buddies from fantasizing about the possibility. And after Halladay's perfect game performance last night, there's gonna be a lot more people singing along with 30 Doc. Download it right here.
The Baseball Project http://www.thebaseballproject.com/
Yep Roc label site http://www.yeproc.com/artist_info.php?artistId=12539
Scott McCaughey fan site http://www.universaltrendsetter.org
Steve and Scott interviewed about the Baseball Project on MLB.com
Friday, May 28, 2010
Check out Power right here while you can.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
However, the funky drumming on Katzenjammers delightful remake has made it a party-rocking b-boy favourite which inevitably led to a limited 7-inch repressing in 2005 on the Glasgow-based Red Hook label. But even that re-release isn't easy to turn up these days so enjoy this clip.
Gary Numan's Cars by The Katzenjammers
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Since these weren't the sort of places where you'd expect to find music journalists sniffing for the next big thing or news photographers snapping shots, many of the most mind-roasting moments of the era were never adequately documented let alone reported to the general public. Consequently many incredible bands like the Mummies, Dwarves, Lazy Cowgirls, Devil Dogs, Supersuckers, Halo Of Flies, Untamed Youth, Cheater Slicks, Teengenerate, Compulsive Gamblers, Oblivians, Gories, Lord High Fixers, Black Top, Jack O' Fire, the Make-Up, Sugar Shack, Motards, Fatal Flying Guilloteens, etc. never got the attention they deserved, until Eric Davidson decided to write a book about them called We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001 (Backbeat Books).
Rather than a dry, scholarly study of the era, Davidson instead assembled as more of a series of hilarious, sometimes horrifying yet historically relevant reports from the frontline, letting the key players tell their wild-ass stories in their own words. The interview bits and pieces that didn't make the final cut (see my pal Allyson Baker's fond recollection of meeting the Dwarves below), which Davidson has regularly been posting on his site (weneverlearnbook.com), should be indication enough that you need to pre-order a copy on the double. The street date for We Never Learn is June 1 and it should be noted that Amazon.com is momentarily offering it at the discounted rate of $13.59 US here. Once you get it, you can use your code to grab a copy of the 20-track compilation Davidson has put together as a companion MP3 download right here.
The story below is one Allyson gave me for We Never Learn; once again it was to be one of the “sidebars” I wanted to pepper throughout the book, but got cut in the end.
Oh, and Allyson is currently living in Cali and is married to that Aesop Rock guy. Go figure.
The Dwarves & Me by Allyson Baker
I was fresh out of Hebrew school, just started high school, and had recently acquired my first guitar. The word “grunge” was slowly starting to leave my vocabulary, though thanks to Kurt Cobain I was now learning about bands like the Melvins, the Meat Puppets, and Black Flag. Another of Cobain’s faves, Flipper, was coming to Toronto, so I was delighted as shit. Since it was my first time seeing a band at a small club I figured I’d better get there at least four hours early since I imagined there would be a mob of people outside, at the very least there’d be dozens of other 14-year old Nirvana-worshiping girls I’d have to elbow out of my way to get a good spot on the floor.
I got to the venue at 3pm with two other girlfriends who were more scared than I was. We sat outside the doors cross-legged for a few hours before this gangly looking dude in a dirty t-shirt approached us. It was Blag Dahlia, singer of the Dwarves. Blag took one look at us and started laughing. The site of us three girls, one with a mouthful of braces and the other with an emergency pack of Melba Toast in her front pocket, was comedy waiting to happen.
Blag invited us to come in the venue with him, which we immediately declined as we thought there was a small chance we’d be taken under the stage and molested. But he wouldn’t take no for an answer, so after a quick huddle we agreed to join him, deciding that if we all wound up somehow losing our virginity to the Dwarves that night, at least we’d all be together. Blag toted us around all night and introduced us to his band, Flipper, the roadies, the sound guy, the promoter, and even the college radio guy who kept trying to get a good interview from Blag, but wound up leaving with a tape of us talking about why our math teacher is fat and stupid.
The Dwarves finished their sound check and took us to a pizza place nearby. We all sat around eating pizza, talking about why 90210 was the greatest show ever. At this point we’d really warmed up to them and thought that these guys were real decent guys who just liked to play music and watch 90210, just like us!
The Dwarves opened the show, and we sat on the side of the stage very excited to see our new friends perform. The song starts, bottles go flying, Blag throws himself at the audience, and we took off at top speed running to the other end of the club, scared shitless. I was so terrified after watching them onstage for less than a minute that it made me want to jump into the arms of the strung-out guy from Flipper. We decided that we couldn’t hang out with the Dwarves any longer as they had suddenly turned into scary insane dudes.
At the end of the night Blag invited us to an after-party with Flipper, but with the visual of Blag grinding his pelvis into a chick’s forehead on stage fresh in our minds—not to mention the story we’d just heard about the drummer’s indiscretions with a quadriplegic from the night before—that we thought it might be best to just go home. Blag asked us what we were going to do, so we made up some bullshit about going to get food, to which he replied “Great! We’ll join you!” Slightly fearful, we piled in the van and headed to Golden Griddle, an all-night pancake house. We got to the restaurant and wound up having a great time hanging out and listening to these guy’s crazy stories of chicks, drugs, and being on tour.
At one point during the meal, Blag took me to the pay phone by the bathroom and played me dirty messages of some chick moaning and panting on his voicemail. I remember Blag and I with our ears up to the phone giggling at the sound of her having an orgasm into his answering machine. At around 5am, it was time to wrap it up. We said our goodbyes and Blag gave us all CDs and posters that the band signed—and it’s still up on my wall.
I didn’t sleep when I got home that night. I was completely hooked. I wanted every single night from then on to be like that, and so began my mission to make that happen. I started practicing guitar everyday so that I could start a band ASAP and make that my life.
Here's the schedule for Eric Davidson's upcoming book tour:
June 11 - Brooklyn, NY - Academy Record Annex
June 26 - Brooklyn, NY - Bell House
- NEW BOMB TURKS reunion gig, featuring LiveFastDie
Early show! Reading, 6:30; bands, 8
June 29 - Seattle, WA
- Easy Street Records, book signing, 3pm
- Snoose Part Deux (in Greenwood), reading/DVD showing, 8pm
July 1 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
- Happy hour pre-Eddy Current Suppression Ring/Thee Oh Sees party
July 7 - Los Angeles, CA - Stories
July 9 - Columbus, OH - Wexner Center
- After-party DJ jive at Café Bourbon St.
July 10 - Columbus, OH - Surly Girl Parking Lot Blow-Out
- New Bomb Turks gig plus - get this - the Gibson Bros. and Scrawl!!! (More bands TBA)
July 13 - Chicago - Museum of Contemporary Art
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Here's the track listing:
1: Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford
2: John the Revelator - Son House
3: Ramblin' Man - Hank Williams, Sr.
4: Just Walkin' in the Rain - Prisonaires
5: Drown In My Own Tears - Ray Charles
6: Honey in the Rock - Blind Mamie Forehand
7: Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go - Hank Ballard and the Midnighters
8: No More Auction Block - Paul Robeson
9: Dorothy Mae - Howlin' Wolf
10: Sylvie - Harry Belafonte
11: I Was Young When I Left Home - Bob Dylan
12: Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet - Gavin Briars with Tom Waits
13: Ball N' Chain - Big Mama Thornton
14: Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe Eingestellt - William Burroughs
15: When You WIsh Upon A Star - Cliff Edwards
MOJO's Ross Bennett presents his selection of the best Tom Waits webvids (including the following Fernwood Tonight spot with Martin Mull and Fred Willard from 1977) right here.
In Montreal, where government funding flows freely for the annual outdoor soiree and the festival's astute artistic director André Ménard has a good handle on what makes for exciting jazz programming, you can usually count on a week-long showcase of an important and creatively vital artists like David Murray or Randy Weston in a variety of settings in addition to loads of respectable, if not cutting edge jazz talent – not a series of golden oldies shows by tie-dyed arena rock survivors. For some reason, this year's version of the Montreal Jazz Fest has taken a sharp turn towards the mainstream in a puzzling bid for lowest common denominator appeal. The one-off novelty of Lou Reed getting down with John Zorn and Laurie Anderson doesn't begin to make up for the Lionel Richie and Boz Scaggs head-scratchers crowding out the Sonny Rollins and David Sanchez shows. The Doobie Brothers sans Michael McDonald? Really?
There have also been some surprising moves made by the Toronto Downtown Jazz operation in advance of the Toronto Jazz Festival 2010, which will go head-to-head with the Montreal event from June 25 to July 4. While there are some holdovers at this year's festival, like the return of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, David Sanborn, Herbie Hancock (with Dave Holland and Chris Potter), Keith Jarrett (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) as well as John Scofield, the lineup is far more solid than anticipated with The Roots, Dave Douglas, Taj Mahal, James Hunter, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, Maceo Parker, Allen Toussaint & Mavis Staples, Fred Frith, Tomasz Stanko Quartet, Martha Wainwright, Bettye Lavette, James Hunter, Stanley Clarke, Christian Scott, Hilario Duran Big Band, Angelique Kidjo, Nikki Yanofsky and Harry Connick, Jr. providing serious competition for Montreal's parade golden greats.
Perhaps the most notable change in the way the Toronto Jazz Festival 2010 is being run is the retirement of long-time artistic director Jim Galloway. Had the diehard dixieland enthusiast still been calling the shots at this year's festival, the sad passing of trombonist Rob McConnell on May 1 would've surely wreaked havoc with the bookings. Who knows, the way the schedule was padded with multiple Boss Brass gigs in previous years, the whole 10-day shebang may have been called off. Fortunately, after years of questionable booking choices, the trad-jazz focused Galloway has made way for the younger, hipper Toronto Jazz Orchestra founder/conductor Josh Grossman who understands the value of social media.
Almost immediately after Grossman took over in January, there were encouraging signs that positive changes were afoot. Just the appearance of a blog component to the torontojazz.com site was a revelation in itself but there was much more in store.
As part of a March posting, the Grossman not only acknowledged his responsibility as artistic director "to be aware of who is making waves on the Canadian and international jazz scenes, and get them playing in Toronto", he took the unprecedented step of inviting the public at large to make booking suggestions! Admittedly it's one thing to accept input and quite another to act on it. Yet the whole notion of the mysterious people at the Toronto Downtown Jazz suddenly welcoming outside suggestions and perhaps even considering what artists Toronto jazz fans really want to see is an enormously promising about face from the closed-shop approach of the past.
That's not to say the Toronto Jazz Festival will suddenly start spotlighting the sort of exciting jazz talent emerging in Canada, England, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Italy and the U.S. which has been overlooked for ages – supremely gifted jazz singer José James is appearing at Revival on July 2, not as part of the T.O. Jazz Festival – t's clearly going to take some time before we see the likes of Nat Birchall, Matt Halsall, Quasimode, Soil & Pimp Sessions, Dwight Trible, Bajka, Nostalgia 77, Build An Ark, Jukka Eskola, Five Corners Quintet, Eero Koivistoinen, Jacques Coursil or Azar Lawrence. But having an open-minded artistic director actively seeking input is a giant leap in the right direction.
Toronto Jazz Festival torontojazz.com
Festival International de Jazz de Montréal www.montrealjazzfest.com
Friday, May 21, 2010
The results of the "bold experiment" were announced by DEVO's Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh via satellite link to a gathering of journalists, historians and a random assortment of concerned citizens (including some dude with a bike) at DEVO Inc.'s corporate meeting centre at an undisclosed location near Akron, Ohio.
Something For Everybody is now available for pre-order at DEVO's merch site.
2. What We Do
3. Please Baby Please
4. Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)
5. Mind Games
6. Human Rocket
8. Step Up
10. Later Is Now
11. No Place Like Home
12. March On
In other DEVO news, the group is touring this summer but thus far, the only confirmed Canadian appearance will be at Montreal's Osheaga Music and Arts Festival August 1.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
When word of a Ryan Adams metal album began to circulate recently, it sounded almost too good not to be a hoax. While it's no secret that Mr. Mandy Moore likes to dabble outside of his alternative country comfort zone now and again, he's been photographed wearing Voivod t-shirts and he certainly prides himself on his songwriting prolificacy, the idea of a Ryan Adams knocking out a sci-fi metaloid concept album seems too hilariously preposterous even for Bryan Adams to dream up.
http://store.pax.am). There will be no compact disc version issued. Check out a clip of the track Electro Snake here.
Evidently, the metal move is something Adams has had in the works for years now as the Orion recordings, made with former Cardinals bandmate Jamie Candiloro on drums and synths and a mystery bassist credited as Dale Nixon, date back to 2006.
Those who pay close attention to liner notes may recall that the nom-de-disc "Dale Nixon" has been previously used by Dave Grohl when he joined the Melvins in the studio for the King Buzzo sessions, Minor Threat's Brian Baker on Dag Nasty's Four On The Floor album and Black Flag's Greg Ginn on My War. The fact that Ginn used "Dale Nixon" for bass playing credit and Adams also happens to be a huge Black Flag fan has raised speculation that it may actually be Ginn appearing undercover on Orion to save himself some embarrassment.
Voivod fans should note that Orion's reflective sleeve art was designed by Michel "Away" Langevin who also came up with the dope bio-robotic spider image. So far there hasn't been any announcement of whether Adams plans on taking his Orion epic to the stage, no doubt he's got all the housework he can handle since getting married, but we can only hope. The light show could be awesome.
01 Signal Fade
02 Imminent Galactic War
04 Fire Away
05 Defenders of the Galaxy
06 Fire and Ice
07 By Force
08 Ghorgon, Master of War
10 Electro Snake
11 Victims of the Ice Brigade
12 2,000 Ships
13 End of Days
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Wasn't there supposed to be a global moratorium on all Wolf-related names for bands and solo artists due to annoying over-usage? Just because the Vultures debut album which sad sack singer/songwriter Paul Marshall from Leeds issued three years ago under his own dull name went absolutely nowhere doesn't give him the right to sneak out a new recording under the alias Lone Wolf. Even if there wasn't specific wording to cover alter-egos, Marshall clearly isn't adhering to the spirit of the sanity-saving ban.
But there is a bigger problem with Marshall's new album, The Devil And I (Bella Union), and that's his dangerously short-sighted decision to jump on the 70s soft-rock bandwagon which is already overcrowded with hairy Yanks like Band Of Horses, Blitzen Trapper, Magnolia Electric Co. and Fleet Foxes. If someone told me a decade ago that in 2010, musically-gifted young artists would be consciously trying to sound more like their parents' Eagles, Styx and Kansas LPs as a way to sell more records, I never would've believed it. Alarming as the softening trend might seem, that appears to be precisely what's happening all over North America – check out the kinder, gentler Sadies on their new ballad-heavy Darker Circles album – and it's spreading overseas.
"Softly sung sweetness, lustrous harmonies and dextrous guitar work" pronounced a breathless Q critic while another hack from Clash Magazine chimed in "An absolutely gorgeous first attempt from a one to watch artist" which at the very least indicates that Marshall's name change ruse is working precisely according to plan. Props to his label boss and manager Simon Raymonde for a career renovation job well done.
Keep Your Eyes On The Road by Lone Wolf
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Time to make some room for more hardware in the Kashmere High School trophy case. I'm thrilled to report that Thunder Soul, The Perlich Post's pick to click at Hot Docs 2010 (see preview), has won festival's prestigious Audience Award by popular vote.
With more than 170 films screened for an estimated 136,000 attendees, the 11-day event was the biggest and most successful Hot Docs festival ever. Yet despite the disappointing lack of advance press for Thunder Soul – none of Toronto's numerous daily or weekly newspapers previewed the film in any substantial way – Mark Landsman's brilliant chronicle of Houston's Kashmere Stage Band under the direction of Conrad "Prof" Johnson still connected with Toronto's knowledgeable film fans. Ballots were cast by filmgoers and Thunder Soul proved to be the clear audience favourite when the results were announced on Monday (May 10) with the runners up being John Walker's A Drummer's Dream, Germán Berger-Hertz's My Life With Carlos, and Jan Tenehaven’s Autumn Gold which took the Filmmakers Award selected by participating directors.
"Working on THUNDER SOUL has been a profound privilege for me--getting to know Conrad "Prof" Johnson, his family, his students; the treasure trove of KSB's music; helping to convey a truly soulful story. Everyone connected with the film feels honored and grateful to have won this award today. One thing that cracked me up, someone from Texas texted to say: 'Congrats on winning at Hot Box!' I think they were confused about which fest we played at.
"I owe you man, The Perlich Post was our lone champion up there! My thanks."
Thunder Soul's remarkable triumph at Hot Docs 2010 not only underscores the cultural cluelessness of Toronto's mainstream media which appears to be growing more irrelevant by the day, it's also a heartening testament to the power of a fabulous film to find an audience against all odds. Hopefully this means that Thunder Soul will eventually get wider distribution in first-run movie houses so many more people can enjoy this wonderfully moving documentary about one man and one band that made a difference. Who knows, maybe some sharp concert promoter will bring the reunited Kashmere Stage Band to Toronto for a show – they'd be perfect for Harbourfront!
Mark Landsman discusses Thunder Soul
Thunder Soul http://thundersoulmovie.com/
Kashmere Stage Band http://www.myspace.com/texasthundersoul
Stones Throw Records store
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Another day, another Mark Sultan side project, right? This time our favourite turbaned drum thumper who is alternately known as BBQ has thrown in with fellow Montrealer, psychobilly rebel Bloodshot Bill last seen raising a ruckus in Berlin with King Khan as the Tandoori Knights. The gruesome twosome from the city of smoked meat are calling themselves The Ding-Dongs and they ain't messin' around. Well, a little. Evidently, the 13 unhinged tracks of trashy terror they waxed together proved a bit too rock 'n' roll for labels here in Canada ("We don't really get it – with a name like the Ding-Dongs, we were expecting to hear some glockenspiel").
To help sell their hot new product, Mark and Bill took a camera out onto the snowy streets of Montreal and forced unsuspecting citizens to listen to a Ding-Dongs tune, then documented their puzzled/annoyed reactions for the info-mercial below. Watch for a cameo appearance by my pal Denis, very convincing in the role of the bemused owner cool Montreal record shop Le Pick-up (169 Avenue des Pins Est at Avenue de l'Hotel de Ville).
Melvin Davis comes crawling back
Also new from Norton is a 7-inch single from Detroit R&B swinger Melvin Davis which pairs an unreleased thriller I Won't Come Crawling Back To You recorded in 1962 at D-town's famed Fortune Records cinderblock studio on Third Avenue with his rare rookie brush-off belter for the Jack Pot label, I Don't Want You No More from 1961 – a very good production year. Fans of Davis' Detroit contemporaries such as Gino Washington, Nathaniel Mayer and Andre Williams should take note.
As an added attraction, Danny Kroha (of the Gories, Demolition Doll Rods and Rocket 454) will be introducing his new group with a lively opening set and the mayor of Downtown Soulville, Mr. Finewine along with Ann Arbor Soul Club members in good standing Brad Hales and Breck T. Bunce will be spinning an astonishing selection of vintage 45s you're unlikely to hear anywhere else. Advance tickets for this dyn-o-mite Detroit getdown are just $8 and available from The Crofoot (call 248-858-9333 or see link below). Seems like it could be time for a Motor City road trip.
I Won't Come Crawling Back by Melvin Davis w/The Party Stompers
The Ding-Dongs http://www.myspace.com/officialdingdongs
Norton Records http://www.nortonrecords.com/
Le Pick-up http://www.myspace.com/lepickup
Melvin Davis http://www.myspace.com/melvindavisdetroit
Party Stompers http://www.myspace.com/partystompers
Park Bar http://www.myspace.com/theparkbar
Ann Arbor Soul Club http://www.myspace.com/a2soulclub
The Crofoot http://www.thecrofoot.com/
Friday, May 7, 2010
Making rootsy records that are both critically acclaimed and commercially successful involving artists that don't get played on country radio has become T Bone Burnett's production hallmark. After he worked his no frills magic on the unlikely Robert Plant and Alison Krauss collabo Raising Sand (Rounder) which grabbed the Grammy for Album Of The Year and rang up huge sales, it only follows that the folks at Rounder were eager to see if Burnett could turn the same trick with Willie Nelson.
Perhaps they figured Nelson's audience had grown weary with all the high concept projects that denied his twangy side and it was time to re-focus on the familiar sound of his singular voice tastefully framed by fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar, banjo and pedal steel. That seems like a winning strategy, not dissimilar from what Rick Rubin was doing with Johnny Cash, and Country Music might've even helped Nelson reach some new listeners were it not for the puzzling song selection. It's probably safe to assume that he's already got the 70+ demographic sewn up so if you're not going with Nelson's songwriting strength, why choose to cover Al Dexter's Pistol Packin' Mama and Doc Watson's Freight Train Boogie in 2010? I can guess what they were smoking but what on earth were they thinking?
A key reason for the success of Cash's American Recording series was the astute decision to have Johnny cut material by younger contemporary artists which served to expand his reach enormously. There's no shortage of Willie Nelson fans writing decent songs today who probably would've jumped at the chance to compose something for specifically for Nelson to record. You could start with Phosphorescent's Matt Houck (whose To Willie tribute album was one of the very best country releases last year) and I'd wager Will Oldham, Jim James, Alejandro Escovedo, Conor Oberst, Kurt Wagner, Bill Callahan, Patterson Hood and even that Jeff Tweedy dude would also be up for the challenge if they were asked. Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Besides being among the most heartwarming films you'll see at Hot Docs 2010 (which runs through May 9), Thunder Soul: The True Story Of Conrad Johnson & The Kashmere Stage Band will also have one of the very best soundtracks. Of course there's some stiff competition from some of the festival's other entries like Blank City, A Drummer's Dream, 1991 The Year Punk Broke, Complaints Choir and We Don't Care About Music Anyway but then again, those exceptional high school students from the Kashmere Gardens neighborhood on Houston's nasty northside were never afraid of a little friendly competition.
The Kashmere Stage Band's amazing recorded legacy, neatly compiled on the Texas Thunder Soul 1968-74 (Now Again/Stones Throw) 2 CD archival set, provides hard evidence that they achieved Johnson's lofty goal. Certainly you won't hear a word of disagreement from credible deep funk authorities like Keb Darge (considered to be the first to spin a KSB record in a club setting) and DJ Shadow who helped touch off the schoolhouse funk craze with his KSB-inspired compilation series of the same name and also sampled their signature tune Kashmere for the Handsome Boy Modeling School track Holy Calamity.
Mark Landsman discusses Thunder Soul
DJ Shadow chronicles Thunder Soul's SXSW premiere
Kashmere by the Kashmere Stage Band
Thunder Soul at Hot Docs 2010 http://www.hotdocs.ca/film/title/thunder_soul
Thunder Soul http://thundersoulmovie.com/
Kashmere Stage Band http://www.myspace.com/texasthundersoul
Stones Throw Records store
Interviews with Conrad Johnson and KSB drummer Craig Green
Monday, May 3, 2010
There might be an initial impulse to write-off The Lumerians, who share their name with an alien race of humanoid empaths that appeared in a sixth season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called Man of the People, as a hopless bunch of Trekkie dweebs but the enigmatic San Francisco drone-psych quartet are actually much flakier than you may suspect. Without delving too deeply into the elaborately concocted mythology of the ancient Leumurians or Mount Shasta's alleged underground city of Telos which you can read about by following the link below, suffice it to say that our musicially-inclined group of Lumerians choose to keep their earthly identities secret for good reason.
While some of the neo-psych cognoscenti raved about the Lumerians five-song 12" debut EP issued by Subterranean Elephants back in 2008, I must admit I was more taken by the swirly sleeve image and the clear vinyl pressing than their lumbering sub-Spacemen 3 bashing.
site on the double. While you're there, you might also wanna reserve a copy of Rococo's equally limited Split Brain Experiment 10" from Red Mass.
Dance Party Revival featuring The Lumerians
Crazy Horses by The Osmonds
Rococo Records http://www.rococorecords.com
Telos of Mt. Shasta http://www.mountshastawisdomproject.com/Teloscity.htm
Sunday, May 2, 2010
photo by Drew ReynoldsThere's a new Andre Williams album called That's All I Need being released by Bloodshot on May 18 but it's not his new recording with The Sadies overseen by Jon Spencer. Evidently Andre's much-anticipated Sadies reunion set is finished and ready to go but they're still looking for a suitable label home for it. So while the backroom wheeling and dealing continues, the other Andre studio set, which the fabulous Mr. Rhythm put down in his old Motor City stomping grounds, is being issued by Bloodshot to placate Andre addicts jonesing for new joints.
To his credit, Smith had the good sense to hire certified Detroit guitar ace Dennis Coffey to play the tricky parts so that's a big plus although it's unfortunate Smith couldn't manage to get Coffey's fellow Funk Brothers Bob Babbitt and Ray Monette in on the action. Those interested in picking up That's All I Need should note that Bloodshot's limited edition vinyl version of the album includes a digital download option and two bonus tracks. And if you pre-order now through Bloodshot's site (see link below) you get a free 11"x17" colour poster!
Andre Williams myspace
Bloodshot Records http://www.bloodshotrecords.com/album/thats-all-i-need
Outrageous Cherry myspace
Saturday, May 1, 2010
The distinction should become more apparent once you hear the Vowls great new In Consonance, Pt.1 (Blood & Water) EP which they're celebrating with Action Makes and Luau Or Die tonight (Saturday, May 1) at their Silver Dollar release party. They've subtracted the giddy French ye-ye pop variable from the Stereolab equation to establish a closer connection to the throbbing sturm und drone of Can, Faust, Neu! with bits of Kraftwerk thrown in here and there for good measure.
Deutsche Elektronische Musik
Experimental German Rock and Electronic Music 1972-83
Soul Jazz Records
1. Can — Aspectacle
2. Between — Devotion
3. Harmonia — Dino
4. Gila — This Morning
5. Kollectiv — Rambo Zambo
6. Michael Bundt — La Chasse Aux Microbes
7. E.M.A.K — Filmmusik
8. Popol Vuh — Morgengruss
9. Conrad Schnitzler — Auf Dem Schwarzen Kanal
10. La Düsseldorf — Rheinita
11. Harmonia — Veterano
12. Faust — It's A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl
13. Neu! — Hallo Gallo
14. Cluster — Heisse Lippen
15. Ibliss — Hi Life
16. Dieter Moebius — Hasenheide
17. Amon Duul II — Fly United
18. Popol Vuh — Aguirre 1
19. Ash Ra Tempel — Daydream
20. Tangerine Dream — No Man's Land
21. Amon Duul II — Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse
22. Roedelius — Geradewohl
23. Can — I Want More
24. Deuter — Soham
Here's the story...
The first seeds of German rock and experimental electronic music were planted in 1968, as students and workers in Paris, Prague, Mexico and throughout the world demonstrated against mainstream society, the war in Vietnam, imperialism and bourgeois values. The birth of a counter-culture, drug experimentation and social change expanded musical worlds. Germany experienced its own cultural revolution fuelled by these worldwide student and worker revolts and by a generation’s desire to rid itself of the guilt of war.
Many German youth turning their back on mainstream society. From the opening of the first collective/cooperative in 1967, Commune 1, in Berlin, to the formation of the Baader-Meinhof terrorist group and the bombings, kidnappings and killings of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (RAF), young Germans sought out new values and a lifestyle outside of ‘the system’. These cooperative and communal experiences led to a number of new radical German bands including Amon Duul, Faust and Can.
Many artists and musicians believed a complete rejection of everything musically that had gone before was also necessary in order to build a new identity for German culture. At this time German music meant ‘schlager’ music – insipid pop music that hardly confronted the country’s recent historical events.
The first recordings of groups such as Kluster (later Cluster) were extreme experiments with sound; un-music, anti-melody and anti-rhythm - attempts to destroy any musical links with the past. Holger Czukay and Irmin Scmidt of Can studied music under the radical avant-garde composer Karheinz Stockhausen and Conrad Schnitzler studied art under the conceptual artist Joseph Beuys. German rock groups were as interested in musique concrète and serial compostion as they were in the psychedelia of Pink Floyd or the rock, soul and jazz music played by resident American forces.
From this beginning German rock music began an evolutionary journey of experimentation. Electronic music became a pathway to notions of space and the cosmos. Conversely, the emergence of communal living led to a number of musicians setting up live/work spaces in rural areas and developing a ‘pastoral’ outlook, with musical ideas engaged closely with nature.
And despite an aversion to the politics of American society, German rock bands were nevertheless fascinated by the emerging stateside counter-culture of psychedelic music and drug experimentation. A band such as Ash Ra Tempel even recording an album with drug guru/theoretician Timothy Leary (‘Seven Up’, 1973).
German electronic music, kosmische music, cosmic rock, space music. The objectives were to create new music, ‘free’ from the past. A music that gave seed out of the cultural ‘nothingness’ that young Germans felt as a consequence of Germany’s role in the Second World War. A generation who grew up stifled by the recent history of Nazi atrocities, the guilt of their parents’ generation and their disillusionment at the reintegration of old Nazis into mainstream society.
And whilst some of the bands featured here slipped by the wayside over the years, others such as Faust, Cluster, Can, Tangerine Dream are now well into their fourth decade having firmly established that which they set out to achieve – a new German music.
Vowls myspace http://www.myspace.com/lwovowl
Deutsche Elektonische Musik
As always, the well-prepared stylist is selecting the evening's repertoire based on the space, her accompanists, the audience and what she's been working on lately. Since she'll be joined by her recording/performing sidemen of choice – esteemed bassist/pianist Don Thompson and equally tasteful guitarist Reg Schwager – and she won't have to compete with clinking silverware and wine glasses, expect Panton to feature an intimate selection from Pink (www.dianapanton.com) her fabulous recent set of songs based loosely on the theme of new love.
With spring in the air, I can't imagine a better time and place to revel in the purity and richness of Panton's remarkable pipes than the Glenn Gould Studio (250 Front West) tonight (Saturday, May 1) at 8 pm. Admission is $29.50 and while there are apparently a couple of seats still available online, considering the venue's capacity is listed as 341, they won't last long. Panton's all-too-rare Toronto performances have been awesome but this show promises to be the topper – don't miss it.
Diana Panton www.dianapanton.com
Don Thompson www.myspace.com/donthompsonjazz
Reg Schwager www.regschwager.com
Glenn Gould Studio www.cbc.ca/glenngould